14 things you didn’t know about the new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class

By topgear, 06 July 2021

1.They’ve sold tonnes of them

Literally tonnes. Since the brand's relaunch in 2015 – where it changed name to Mercedes-Maybach and was spun more obviously off the LWB S-Class – Mercedes tells us it has sold 60,000 cars worldwide.


2.And in today’s least surprising news, China was/is the biggest market

In 2019 alone, Mercedes shifted some 12,000 Maybach S-Classes in China, and more recently is moving some 600 cars a month. The next biggest territories include Russia, South Korea, the USA and its home market of Germany.

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3.It’s got a V12!

Unsurprising, considering it’s the top version of the top Mercedes, but still. A 604bhp 6.0-litre V12 – Merc’s ‘M279’ unit – is available in S680 guise, fitted for the first time with four-wheel-drive (under Merc’s rather shouty ‘4MATIC’ nomenclature). It’s enough to propel the luxury land yacht from 0-100 kph in 4.5s and onto a limited top speed of 250 kph, which, frankly, is more than enough pace.

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4.There’s a special Maybach mode

This starts the car off in second gear, gives the accelerator ‘gentler characteristics’ and the gearbox a more comfort-orientated map, and softens up the suspension that little bit more. It’s a fractional change but entirely noticeable.

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5.It’s 18cm longer than a LWB S-Class

Which means it’s longer than the longest version of the longest car Mercedes builds.

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6.The two-tone paint option can take up to a week to apply

It’s a long, complicated and delicate process. The bodyshell is painted on Mercedes’s regular production line in the colour that’ll feature on the bottom half of the car. It’s then sent to the custom shop, where the shell is ground to a matt finish by hand. Then cleaned. Then masked, and a dividing line hand-painted (like on a Rolls) around the entire car.

The doors are weighted before masking off this 4mm dividing line – to simulate the addition of windows/speakers and so forth in the doors later on – then the lower half is masked off, and the upper is painted by hand.

The whole thing is then given a clear varnish coat, and, says Merc, “all in all, the process including the necessary drying times can take up to one week”.

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7.The interior screens use OLED technology

To most people, it just means a crystal clear display, but to telly nerds it means a high end technology that offers deeper blacks and much better colour accuracy over its LCD/LED rivals. Instead of a flat panel lighting up an array of pixels on an LCD/LED screen, an OLED panel can switch each individual pixel on and off independently. Just makes for a better picture, basically.

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8.You can practically sleep in it

The rear backrest reclines up to 43.5 degrees, the legrest extends forward by a further 50mm, and the front passenger seat tilts forward (while a little footrest extends from underneath it) to create a proper first-class flying experience.

Select your choice of ENERGIZING massage and you won’t want to leave.

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9.It’ll now massage your calves

This is apparently A Thing. An extremely comfortable Thing, mind.

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10.The doors can be opened and closed automatically via a BUTTON

They’re called comfort rear doors and solved a problem we never knew existed until now.

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11.The Burmester audio deploys noise suppression

This is very trick. There are six ‘acceleration sensors’ buried in the suspension, which then send information to a master control unit. The control unit deploys mathematics to work out what noise the car should offer to counter the road noise picked up. This is then relayed to the 4D surround sound system, whereby – in Merc’s words – “the requisite sound waves phase-shifted by 180 degrees are reproduced by the bass speakers”.

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12.There are the usual array of screens and champagne flutes and a fridge and tablets

All as you’d expect from a luxury limousine costing £201k (RM1.1 m) (in V12 guise), but still lovely nonetheless.

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13.Mercedes reckons it’ll be able to drive itself

It’s been set up for Level 3 autonomy, and will be able to control speed, distance and lane-keep. There’s LiDAR and additional cameras to scan the surrounding areas and road ahead, and Merc reckons when ready – perhaps later in 2021 – it’ll be able to take over on “suitable motorway sections and where traffic density is high”.

14.It’s the latest in a line of Maybach limos that started in 1921

Maybach Motorenbau GmbH revealed its first ever car at the 1921 Berlin Automobile Exhibition: the Model W3, with coachwork by Auer in Cannstatt.

That’s right, Maybach is 100 years old this year.